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WAKINGLIFEINTRODUCTIONOnequestionthemovieraisedwas-whatmakesyouanydifferentfromacharacterinyourdream?Whoistosaythattheyarenotthedreamer,andyourdreamisn'tjustbeingmadetofitwhatevertheirmindisthinking.Maybeitcouldexplainhowsomepeoplefeeltheyaredrawingfrommemoriesthatdon'tfeelliketheirownwhentheyaredreaming.OBJECTIVESManyofthephilosophicalideasdiscussedinitareatadonthebasicsideofthespectrum.Thefilmisattemptingtogiveaswideaperspectiveonphilosophyaspossible,makingthisflurryofcontradictoryideasintosortofanintellectualundergrowthforthepossibilitiesofsubjectivelyformulatingasortofmeaningoflife.Itisalsotryingtomakeitselfavailableforanaudiencewhoaren'tknowledgeableaboutphilosophy.Whichofcourseissoambitiousthatithastogowronginsomeway.ButIthinkitshouldbejudgedonhowitattemptstoperformthetaskitactuallysetsforitself,ratherthanonit'sacademicanddiscoursivequalities,whichareboundtobeflawedandshallowastheyareconfinedwithintheparametresofamovie.RATIONALEWakingLifeutilisesdreamswithindreamstotryandmakeusawareofhowmainstreamcinemaisaboutensuringpassivityandcontrol.Thefilmtouchesonanimportantpointabouthowpeoplewouldwanttoliveinadreamworld,butnotbetoldthattheyliveinadreamworldbecauseiteithera)disruptstheillusionorb)createstoolargeaframeofreferencewithinwhichtoplaceyourself.Youarehappyinadream,butifyourealiseyou'reinadreamitmakesyouuncomfortablebecauseyouknowyouaren'tlivingtotallyfree.WhatsinterestingaboutWakingLifeisthattwodreamstatesarerepresented.Thedreamstatewhichwearekeptinbyourmasters,ofwhichweareawarebutnotself-aware.Andthedreamstateweaspiretobecome-truefreedom.It'sastheukuleleplayersays:"Thetrickistocombineyourwakingrationalabilitieswiththeinfinitepossibilitiesofyourdreams.Because,ifyoucandothat,youcandoanything,"followedbythelinethatalotofpeopletakeforpromotingsuicide:"Theworstmistakethatyoucanmakeistothinkyou'realivewhenreallyyou'reasleepinlife'swaitingroom."Sohowdoweremaininthis'bad'dreamstate.Throughconstantsuppressionofthedream

statebytheprohibitionofpsychedelicdrugsisoneanswer.Theotherishintedatinwhatis,inmyopinion,themostimportantyetoverlookedspeechofthefilm,deliveredbyStevenSoderbergh:Allegedly,thestorygoeslikethis:BillyWilderrunsintoLouisMalle.Thiswasinthelate'50s,early'60s.AndLouisMallehadjustmadehismostexpensivefilm,whichhadcost2anda1/2milliondollars.AndBillyWilderaskshimwhatthefilmisabout.AndLouisMallesays,"It'ssortofadreamwithinadream."AndBillyWildersays,"Youjustlost2anda1/2milliondollars."

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